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The Maverick Cowboy
Macie St. James
(Cupid Ridge Dude Ranch, #1)
Publication date: January 6th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Western
He’s slow to trust. She can’t seem to keep a secret. Can they overcome their differences to find their happily ever after?
Joshua Ludington is slow to trust. After being betrayed by the woman he loved, he vowed to take a hiatus from dating. But when Lucie Cooper drives onto his family ranch, he finds the beautiful chef hard to resist.
Lucie Cooper is at Cupid Ridge Inn to do a job. They need an interim chef for their dude ranch guests, and she’s determined to fill that position. When she runs into handsome cowboy Joshua Ludington, at first she’s excited to show off her cooking skills. Soon, though, it becomes apparent that what she’s feeling for him goes beyond gratitude for the job.
Although Lucie knows Joshua has been burned, she’s determined to show this handsome cowboy that he can count on her. But Lucie is notoriously bad at keeping secrets, and working for the Ludingtons means keeping things quiet. She means well, but she might just destroy her new relationship before it gets off the ground.
The Cupid Ridge Dude Ranch series is a sweet, clean contemporary western romance series filled with swoon-worthy cowboys in a small-town setting.
Lucie stepped into the doorway, taking in the scene in front of her, her eyebrows arching at what she saw.
A man. His back was to her. He wore a T-shirt, a pair of jeans, and what looked like an apron tied at the waist and neck in messy knots. He wasn’t dancing as much as wiggling around awkwardly while he belted out the chorus.
The biggest surprise of all? The guy could sing.
“Excuse me,” she said.
He kept singing. He hadn’t heard her. The music wasn’t that loud, so he must be so caught up in the song, he’d lost track of his surroundings.
She practically shouted that, and it did the trick. With a loud thud that made her jump, he turned to face her. He’d been holding a pan above the stove burner—she saw it on top of one of
the raised burners—but she only had a second to register it because her gaze was immediately drawn to that face.
That face. She knew that face. Joshua Ludington.
There wasn’t a girl in school who didn’t have a crush on one of the Ludington brothers, but Joshua was the quiet one. He didn’t tend to get as much notice. She’d noticed him, of course, but he’d been two years ahead of her in school.
Not that he would’ve given her a second look, anyway. In high school, she started dating Clayton Mills, who worked on the Knott family ranch. None of the Ludington brothers would speak to her while she was dating Clayton, despite the fact she was still friends with their only sister.
He looked at her curiously. “You were that cheerleader girl.”
Her mouth fell open. That cheerleader girl? Was that what he knew her as?
Okay, so maybe she hadn’t become a lawyer like Clayton, and she certainly wasn’t handed a family business to run like the Ludingtons and Knotts. But she’d accomplished some things of her own since graduation.
USA Today Bestselling author Macie St. James has written most of her life. After earning a degree in mass communications, she worked in public relations and technology for the government. She spent a full decade as a content writer before realizing her dream of being a full-time novelist. She lives in Nashville with her husband and dog, a spaniel mix.
Visit Macie’s webpage at MacieStJames.com. Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free e-book of The Coolheaded Cowboy, the prequel to the Cupid Ridge Dude Ranch series.